Japan’s Old Houses to be Transformed to Vacation Rentals

Investing in Japanese Properties

Rebuilding Japanese Properties

05 Jun, 2018 –

Japanese property startup Rakuten Lifull Stay Inc. has concluded an agreement with Austin-based HomeAway and Japan’s leading traditional house regeneration association. The agreement aims to transform private vacant houses as accommodation properties and promote them among domestic and inbound travelers.

Tokyo-headquartered National Old Private House Revitalization Association will certify old private houses as secure and safe, in line with its 20-point appraisal checklist. Rental listings will then be tagged with a “certified traditional house” logo. The association has more than 60 offices nationwide.Under the partnership, the three will use old private houses as property for vacation rentals.

These are preferred by tourists because of their cultural and historical affinities, according to a news statement. There are around 1.28 million old housing units across the country. Since the average lifespan of a traditional Japanese home is 30 year — as opposed to 100 years in Europe and the United States — they need to be recycled to make them livable for a longer period.

Inbound tourism has been growing significantly in Japan; encouraging property businesses to enter the vacation rental business. The industry is waiting for a new law that will allow private rental services for short-term accommodation, to come into effect. It’s expected to come into play later this month.

Rakuten Lifull Stay Inc., which is co-owned by Rakuten Inc. (51 percent) and Lifull Co. Ltd. (49 percent), is also waiting to launch its guest house booking site VacationStay and monthly rental property site MonthlyHomes. HomeAway, which is owned by Expedia.com, is one of five vacation rental marketplaces Rakuten Lifull Stay has signed listing-sharing accords with. The other four are South Korean Yanolja, Taiwanese AsiaYo.com, Beijing-based Tujia.com and Amsterdam-based Booking.com.

The number of foreign tourists in Japan rose 12.5 percent year-on-year to 2.91 million in April, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization’s data. The nation’s biggest real estate classified in terms of traffic, Suumo.jp, also entered the vacation rental market in January by signing a listing-sharing agreement with U.S.-based rental apartment site AirBnB.

(Source – AIM Group, Pic – Old Houses / “Fred Hsu“)

This entry was posted in Japan Real Estate and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.